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TOPIC: Anyone suffer with extreme muscle spasms (aka 'Charley Horses')? & anyone suffer leg cramp when leaving their wheelchair

Anyone suffer with extreme muscle spasms (aka 'Charley Horses')? & anyone suffer leg cramp when leaving their wheelchair 1 year 10 months ago #65024

  • Amanda2
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I suffer from two leg conditions: Lymphoedema with Chronic Venous Insufficiency & these leave me prone to extreme muscle spasms which run up the inside of my legs, particularly my thighs. In no way can they be compared to leg cramps, which though bad enough in themselves don't cause the excruciating pain that the leg spasms (also known as 'Charley Horses') cause. I usually get them when in bed or when trying to leave my bed. I have done a lot of internet research on them and as a result drink tonic water and Gatorade or an equivalent which no doubt help but there doesn't seem to be any particular treatment which can be offered. I do though try to guard against becoming dehydrated, I include bananas in my diet and a source of calcium. Nonetheless, when in bed I am left in a state of fear which makes me reluctant to move the position of my legs (and of course it would be impossible to remain totally static). Once the spasm has begun it's very difficult to find any way of relieving it ...it's really just a case of waiting until it goes. So I wondered if anyone else suffers from these muscle spasms and how they cope with the scream worthy pain!.

I use a manual wheelchair and the foot rests flip up when not in use and fold back to the side of the chair. My husband waits for me to take my feet off the rests and place them on the ground for a few seconds whilst he flips the foot rests away in order to allow me to move out of my chair (to use my walking sticks in order to e.g.: take the few steps to the car). In those few seconds when my feet are tucked back and out of the my husband's way I often get leg cramp in the back of my calf. My leg conditions mean that I have to avoid knocks to them but the leg cramps are nasty so I often find that I have to move my legs as quickly as I can and can bash them on the foot rests. I'm wondering if this problem means that I need to use a different kind of wheelchair or if anyone has found a way of getting round this problem?

Many thanks, Amanda.

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Last edit: by Amanda2.

Anyone suffer with extreme muscle spasms (aka 'Charley Horses')? & anyone suffer leg cramp when leaving their wheelchair 1 year 10 months ago #65030

Hi Amanda, I suffer with spasms in my lower legs and feet, they bounce around uncontrollably and have broken toes with them due to hitting the poofs I rest my legs on. They can last for a few minutes or up to a few hours which can end up with my legs being warn out. I have more recently started having intermittent spasms of my arms and head as well which can be more annoying! But my spasms seem little petty to what you are suffering with, I can't imagine how painful and upsetting they must be. If I can help in anyway with finding more literature on the condition for you please just Private message me.

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Anyone suffer with extreme muscle spasms (aka 'Charley Horses')? & anyone suffer leg cramp when leaving their wheelchair 1 year 10 months ago #65031

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I was really touched by your reply, thanks a lot. My spasms fortunately only last around a maximum of 10 minutes (though seem much longer of course!) so mine seem quite minor in comparison to what you're going through, how dreadful, I do sympathise. And how awful that you've broken bones as a result of them. I can only assume that nothing can be done for the spasms you're suffering? and how awful too that these spasms seem to be spreading to your arms and head. I have to see my Dr next week anyway (I've had a urinary infection for about a year now) so I'm thinking of mentioning my Charley Horses to her then. I know they didn't used to like you bringing a second medical condition up when you're having an appointment and I can see why but I've been getting the impression in more recent years that they're relaxing this now and it would save me arranging a second appointment. My Lymphoedema also undermines my immune system: hence the Urinary Infection. I've a further hospital appointment for it at the end of July ... it's just a case of getting more help in the mean time! A friend's husband like me, takes a statin medication for raised cholesterol and he was getting dreadful night time leg cramps until his Dr switched him onto a different statin. However when I've read up on the subject on the internet it's just said that most patients who have tried different statins have not had any relief from their CH's... but it will be interesting to see what approach my GP takes. Thanks again for your reply and I can only hope that in the end you get some effective help with your problems.
P.S. I was trying to underline one word but seem to have underlined most of the above!

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Last edit: by Amanda2.

Anyone suffer with extreme muscle spasms (aka 'Charley Horses')? & anyone suffer leg cramp when leaving their wheelchair 1 year 10 months ago #65036

I don't think my spasms are as bad as yours!! It's like we are playing a game of 'who has the worst spasm!!' My Consultant says it's because of certain medications reacting with others so sadly it's something I have to put up with! But my Arnie (pusskin) does enjoy the leg spasm's as it's kind of a stroking thing for him! I've just learnt to live with it. But Amanda you do need to inform your Dr because there just may be an medication that can help your spasms, let us know how you get on. :)

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Anyone suffer with extreme muscle spasms (aka 'Charley Horses')? & anyone suffer leg cramp when leaving their wheelchair 1 year 10 months ago #65043

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It's sad that you'll have to learn to live with your spasms but well done for maintaining such a positive attitude.

I've been thinking for a while that I should mention mine to my Dr. I have a feeling that she may not be able to help but it's certainly worth a try and I will definitely add an entry here when I've asked her.

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Anyone suffer with extreme muscle spasms (aka 'Charley Horses')? & anyone suffer leg cramp when leaving their wheelchair 1 year 10 months ago #65059

I've noticed that mine come on as well after I've been poorly when I'm run down like today, I've had a severe migraine that's lasted over 2 days and today I'm drained from trying to fight and at the moment I'm spasmming from the hips (look like a belly dancer at mo!!) and hands. I'm learning about them everyday.

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Anyone suffer with extreme muscle spasms (aka 'Charley Horses')? & anyone suffer leg cramp when leaving their wheelchair 1 year 10 months ago #65066

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I was sorry to read that you suffer migraines too...and to last more than 2 days, that's dreadful, no wonder you feel so drained, I imagine you've asked your Dr about them? Sorry too to read about the spasms and I think you're right, our bodies certainly know when we're at a low ebb from another condition and seem to choose their moment ... I suppose sometimes we're not good at multi tasking in that our bodies are trying to deal with condition 1) so only gives scant attention to condition 2). I think you're taking the right approach in learning about your conditions: sometimes it can help a great deal. In some ways no one is going to be as expert (not even a Consultant) in your own conditions as you yourself are because we all react a little differently to the same condition. I hope you're feeling better soon. Take care.

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Anyone suffer with extreme muscle spasms (aka 'Charley Horses')? & anyone suffer leg cramp when leaving their wheelchair 1 year 10 months ago #65070

I've suffered from severe muscle spasms in my calves since I was 16 yo (I'm now 51) and in recent years I've been having spasms in my chest, stomach and back, I barely have to move to cause them and it is extremely painful!
When I was hospitalized in 2015, I mentioned it to my new Doctor and he said it's due to a deficiency of Magnesium, and for the week I was there, he had me pumped full of Magnesium tablets!
After that, I was fine for a long time, but recently I've had trouble again so I'm going to buy some Magnesium tablets and get it back into me!
It would be worth your while giving them a go and seeing what happens?
You need to take several tabs a day to really get it into your system!

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Anyone suffer with extreme muscle spasms (aka 'Charley Horses')? & anyone suffer leg cramp when leaving their wheelchair 1 year 10 months ago #65074

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Thanks a lot for your post. I was sorry to see that you get these extreme muscle spasms too. They are dreadful aren't they? I did used to take Magnesium until I started on antibiotics (a year ago today strangely enough) for my urine infection. I read that things like minerals can block the absorption of antibiotics so I then decided not to risk taking any for the time being. My cramps have certainly become worse since I came off the Magnesium and as I'm currently off antibiotics your post has inspired me to start taking Magnesium again and hopefully I'll be able to stay on it this time! Thanks for the tip that it needs to get into your system.

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Last edit: by Amanda2.

Anyone suffer with extreme muscle spasms (aka 'Charley Horses')? & anyone suffer leg cramp when leaving their wheelchair 1 year 10 months ago #65081

No worries Amanda, glad to help, I know exactly how painful and debilitating those spasms can be!
I was recently in the car with my Dad and I was thrashing around having spasms and being strapped in didn't help, it made glad me I don't drive!?

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Anyone suffer with extreme muscle spasms (aka 'Charley Horses')? & anyone suffer leg cramp when leaving their wheelchair 1 year 10 months ago #65082

Joely my friend thank you for posting about magnesium tablets I'm going to check with my G.P if I'm okay to try them and see how I get on, will let you both know if I get cleared to take them.

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Anyone suffer with extreme muscle spasms (aka 'Charley Horses')? & anyone suffer leg cramp when leaving their wheelchair 1 year 10 months ago #65091

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Joely, your spasms sound really dreadful. I do sympathise.

In the end I cancelled my Dr appointment for today because it was primarily for my UTI and at the moment it's (unusually) behaving itself so I will see her next week instead. I think even if the UTI continues to behave itself next week I will still see her about the muscle spasms ... I need to get to bed to control the amount of lymph fluid in my legs (it tends to disperse when I'm in bed) so dreading the muscle spasms (which occur when in bed) is no way to live! I'll report back on what my Dr had to say about the spasms anyway.

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